A father of one New Jersey high school student paid over $5,000 to have yearbooks reprinted for his son’s entire school after the school photoshopped Trump’s campaign logo out of his son’s picture.
When Grant Berardo, a junior at Wall Township High School in Wall, New Jersey, opened his new yearbook for the first time in June, he was shocked and disappointed to discover that the “TRUMP: Make America Great Again” lettering on his T-shirt had been censored.
“I sent it to my mom and dad, just like, ‘You won’t believe this.’ I was just overall disappointed,” he told the Asbury Park Press. “I like Trump, but it’s history, too. Wearing that shirt memorializes the time.”
Grant was one of three students who were victims of the school’s photoshopping frenzy. Student Wyatt Dobrovich-Fago had the Trump logo censored from his sweater, and his younger sister, Montana, who submitted a Trump quote to appear under her photo did not appear on the page, reports The Blaze.
After Grant’s father, Joseph Berardo, learned of the injustice, he demanded the school reissue the yearbooks and the administration include a letter admitting why they are reissuing them, to the tune of an estimated $10,000. Berardo donated $5,279 and the photography company, hired to take the photos, donated $3,000.
Berardo’s father told reporters that he provided the donation because he felt it was the right thing to do and did not want it to come out of the school’s budget intended for vital educational programs.
“There is an opportunity to use this as a teaching moment for the kids, and for the teachers, as well,” Joseph Berardo told CNN. “This is a First Amendment, freedom of speech issue.”
The yearbook publishing company, Jostens, issued a credit for the remaining balance and reprinted two hundred copies, although only about two dozen copies were claimed by students as of mid-July.
The school’s yearbook adviser, Susan Parsons, 62, who was responsible for the editing of Bernardo’s shirt, has since been suspended with pay while an investigation is carried out. It remains unclear whether or not Parsons will return to her position.
In light of the ongoing investigation, another faculty member has been appointed as the yearbook adviser for the 2017-18 school year.
Wall Township Public Schools superintendent Cheryl Dyer issued this statement:
“There is nothing in our student dress code that would prevent a student from expressing his or her political views and support for a candidate for political office via appropriate clothing. Rather, I applaud students for becoming involved in politics and for participation in our democratic society,” she wrote.
“The high school administration was not aware of and does not condone any censorship of political views on the part of our students. This includes statements that they might make or clothing with references to candidates for public office that they might wear.”
Video and photos regarding the censorship can be view below:
President Trump also reached out to the student in New Jersey, with his own written statement from his Facebook account. See below:
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